Founders typically form their new company around a specific need that defines how they’ll disrupt an industry or change the world. Kind offered snacks made with better ingredients that could be seen through its transparent wrapper, supported by a mantra about spreading kindness across the world. Uber was about leveraging the capacity of ordinary drivers & vehicles to expand access and reduce costs vs taxis.
Yet, as a company matures, the drive for growth risks diluting the focus. Uber added other types of mobility, like scooters and electric bikes, but recently announced Uber Works, a temporary help service. Kind now makes chocolate barks and fruit bites that look like an ordinary version of existing products. Both brands of course can deliver these products and leverage their experience with existing products. The key question is whether they should extend into more tangential products and services, and how such extension will impact their core business and customer perceptions. Sometimes an extension goes too far … think Pillsbury cookie dough ice cream. Cold ice cream would not enhance the perceptions of warm cookies and breads the core business is about. At times, saying “no” makes the business stronger in the long term.